If you've never had long hair, this post might be a bit foreign to you.  But if you're one of the ladies that do have long hair, you know exactly what I mean when I say, "What should I do with my hair today?"
No, I won't vote for
your husband.

Some people change their hairstyle so infrequently I swear their hair is really a helmet.  Or if you see people in two or three styles it's like lego hair, you can just pop it off and put one of the others on.  The amount of hairspray keeps everything, including their smile held in place.  Think politicians wife.

We, the ladies of the long hair don't really have this option, especially if we have fine, straight hair (like me).  We're forced to come up with something to do with our hair each day.  Whether it's up or down, if we're working it has to be professional looking and not look like mommy just finished our hair.  If we're at home with the kids, we want to make sure they can't yank it out of our heads, or eat it when we're multitasking.

Everything's bigger in
Since I can't afford to run to the salon each morning to have someone else do something amazing with my hair, I had to take it into my own hands and find a few go to hairstyles.  My go-tos are easy to manage with my two hands, and can be accomplished without getting confused as I'm looking in the mirror.  I'm also short, so I adjust  my hair to compensate for that as well, without having Texas hair.

For any of you looking for a few new styles that aren't Texas sized, or scream of politicians' wife, check out my Hair Styles board on Pinterest.  I've put a few great tutorials there that don't require me to hold my iphone while doing my own hair.  I can promise you that would only be a disaster in the making.

What are a few of your favorite things to do with your hair?  I'm partial to messy buns myself.
I don't know about the rest of you, but the last week has been a total blur for me.  An office move, making a non-traditional Thanksgiving dinner for 12 and all the things that go with those have kept me busy.

Due to me going vegan and my crazy dietary restrictions I decided to serve Indian food for thanksgiving.  For a family of carnivores that loves their meat, potatoes and gravy it went amazingly well.
The menu was fairly simple.  Crudités with homemade hummus was laid out as guests were arriving.  We chose a simple moscato wine to have, and served it chilled, but not ice cold.  For the starter we had a spicy lentil dahl with papadom and naan.  Then, a buffet style meal of jasmine rice, gobi mutter, chana masala, veggie korma, corn, a simple cole slaw and for the carnivores, chicken biryani and tandoori chicken.

All of the recipes for the meal can be found on my Thanksgiving Pinterest board, except the cole slaw.  I've included a recipe for it below.

If you live in Central Pennsyltucky and have no idea where to get some of the Indian ingredients or spices, Hampden Grocer carries all of it.  As an added bonus, the owner is friendly and helpful!

Yes, we did still have pie.  Minion #2 helped make an apple pie, and there was pumpkin and my famous pecan pie as well.

Dawn's Simple Cole Slaw
Serves 12

1/2 head of green cabbage, sliced thin
1/2 head of red cabbage, sliced thin
large handful of baby carrots, diced, matchstick, or tossed in a food processor
1 medium cucumber
rice vinegar
olive oil

Slice your cabbages and carrots and toss them together, mixing them thoroughly.  Add vinegar and oil to taste.  You want to taste the mixture, but not leave a lake of it at the bottom of your bowl.  Add just enough to coat the veggies.  Add a good bit of black pepper. You want to give it just a bit of a bite.  Slice the cucumber in thin rounds and top the slaw with it.

P.S. I did make all the food up a day ahead of time with my wonderful Sister In Law.  She and I cooked for 6 hours straight to get everything ready so I wouldn't have to be on my feet from the crack of Dawn (no pun intended) on Thanksgiving.  I doubt there are words to say how nice it was to have the help, but it was truly wonderful and a lot of fun!
I ran across a really good article a few weeks ago and wanted to share it.  It's about how unsafe the meat we eat in the US really is.  The article title is Why is it Legal to Sell Unsafe Meat.  I urge you to read the article as well as the first comment from a veterinarian to give you idea of what is really going on with your food.

One more article I'm going to point you to will explain what some of the food borne illnesses are, how to combat them, who they are most likely to affect, and why.

I'm not going to post slaughterhouse photos with this article, because for most people they are disturbing.  Instead you get Leo Hamderson in the Meatrix.  Cheesy cartoon, but an accurate portrayal of the factory farm system.

For those of you that read this blog on a fairly regular basis, you know I'm a vegan.  It's not because I want to save the animals.  I love me some leather, especially on shoes, and jackets, sometimes skirts... Anyway, the point isn't omg don't eat meat, it harms the animals.  It's about educating yourself about what you're eating, and keep yourself or your children from getting very ill.  By all means, eat meat if you want, just make sure what you're getting is safe to eat.

If you've read the articles and checked out Leo Hamderson and are thinking, I don't know why you're making a big deal about this, I cook all my meat and it's safe, or I really don't care about how my meat exists before I eat it. I have one question for you.  After using the toilet, would you wipe your ass with the meat you're eating for dinner, hose it off, cook it, eat it and think it's perfectly safe and completely ok to eat?

I'm cheating a little on my tutorial this week.  This article was written for my day job, but it's relevant here as well as most of us bloggers have Facebook pages.  If you've been looking for a few new ways to invigorate Facebook, read on!
Most, if not all businesses have Facebook pages, twitter accounts, Instagram, and Pinterest sites these days.  More often than not they are started and then left to go cold and unused.  If you've been putting off keeping your Facebook site up to date and relevant, here are a few tips to help you out.
Get all your fans to see all your posts.
You have lots of fans who like your page but you have little to no response to your postings. It could be that a lot of your fans aren't seeing your posts anymore. The way to combat that is to remind your fans that they should hover over the like button and be sure they add it to their interests list.

Pinning, it’s not just for Pinterest junkies.
You can pin your posts to the top of your page so that your fans, or potential fans will see them first on your landing page. This is a great feature if you have products you’re trying to sell, or a cause you’re promoting over a timed schedule.

Speaking of causes…
If you have one you’re passionate about, or are supporting, use your cover photo to showcase it.  Be sure to follow it up with a few posts and photos from events that support the cause.

Crowd source your content.
Feature your customers on your coverpage or your posts! Ask for photos of people with your products. If you’re a realtor ask people to send you photos once they've moved in and decorated with a short story of the buying process went.
Return the love
Your fans have taken their time to come like your page, be sure you take the time to say thank you. Respond to the posts people leave for you, and ask others to get involved in the discussion too so that they feel they've been heard.
Have a little fun with it.
Not every post has to be serious. Use humor where you can to entertain as well as inform in your posts.

Go personal.
Showing that there are people behind the business can be a powerful thing, good and bad. As long as you’re not oversharing, it’s good to be personable. Run into a client at lunch? Why not share a photo of your group? The trick is to be relateable.
Have a contest
Everyone likes to be a winner, and they’re fun. Contests are a great way to your page, increase your likes and get new business.
Cross promotion
If you don’t have a link from your website or blog to your Facebook site and vice versa, do that now. You should also be listing it on your email signature and your business cards as well.
Post regularly
This seems like such a no brainer, but it’s not that easy. One post a day is what’s suggested to stay relevant and visible. Post more often if you can, and with a mixed variety of the above.
Good luck and hey – stop by Facebook and like the page!

I hate you, closet!
Oh, wait, check Pinterest.
There's inspiration!

I promise, no more bad poetry this week.  Or ever.  Especially haiku.  It's just not my forte.  What is my forte is making new outfits out of clothes I already have so I don't have to keep buying new ones.  It can be a challenge, because after a while your clothes all start looking the same.  You get into a rut and those pants go with that shirt and that's the end of your thought process.  Yeah, I've been there.

Enter Pinterest.  If you've never used the site for outfit inspiration, you're missing out.  Will you find the contents of your closet there?  Probably not, but I bet you'll find some things that are close.  I was browsing Pinterest this morning for some inspiration and came across this little gem.

Hello nameless size -0 model.
It's a cute outfit.  One I can get away with for days in the office.  So, tan pants - check, brown boots - check, off white sweater - yep have that too.  Awesome, an outfit for the day!

My version is a pair of Old Navy pants, a Calvin Klein sweater and some Aldo boots.  The accessories added some girlyness to it.  The scarf I found at Rue 21 and the belt is from Target.

I have both a guys and ladies outfit board at Pinterest if you're interested in checking out more outfits.  

I started this post quite some time ago, and never got back around to it.  Shame on me.  In my defense, it was around the time Minion #1 was having heart surgery.  I'll be claiming temporary mommy insanity on that count.  The next time was last week, and I got sick, had a million things going on...stupid life, doesn't it know I have a blog to write?  So finally I'm getting back to closet editing with style and fashion in mind.

Yesterday, I wrote a bit about style and fashion.  If you read that, I mentioned that style is who you are, and you can see a little about me in my clothes.  They're all fairly classic styles.  Things you can wear for years.  They all have the same basic shapes, that show off my assets (small waist) and camouflage the not to great parts (I have a big butt and I can not lie...).  Not a lot of prints, and most have a vintage flair to them.  

I decided to start with dresses this fall since they are all one piece and not quite as mix and match as some of the other things in my closet. In my closet I had three LBD's.  Which, in all honesty was two too many.
Technically, my LBD could double as the cocktail dress, but thanks to my niece and nephew's recent weddings, I have two.  I couldn't show up in the same outfit to two functions.  I mean, who does that?

T-Shirt dresses are a staple for me.  They can be worn with tights, leggings, even jeans to create a bunch of different looks.  If you put a shirt under it or over it, you have more looks.  Add a sweater and you have another outfit, it's really genius. For now, here are mine.

Graphic print dresses.  Everyone has their own take on them, again, I tend toward neutrals because you already have things going on with the print.  Bright colors with bold prints are just not me.  I had a few print dresses,  two of which I've had since right after minion #2.   I kept two.  Yes, I know, that is animal print, I think of it as cougar, RAWR!  ;)

Vintage and classic dresses.  I have a soft spot for these, faux or the real deal, I always have a few in my closet.  Right now I have a vintage seersucker dress.  My holiday frock by the legendary Mr. T has been edited as has my long Benetton.

That's it.  My dresses are edited down.  I have what I really want in my closet and I'll be selling my vintage things in the etsy shop.

On to colors.  As you are trying things on with your closet edit, you may notice a few pieces wash you out, make you look too pale, or even seem to make your skin take on a yellow or green cast to it.  Not all colors were made for all people.  Here are a few tips for finding the right colors for you:

Winter: (cool) Your natural hair color is usually dark and you have brown, hazel, dark blue, grey or green eyes. Your skin has a cool blue undertone. Winter people can wear true black or white clothing. Clear, true vivid colors from light to dark will make you look good. Any colors with blue undertones are recommended. Dull or dusty colors should be avoided.

Spring: (warm) Your natural hair color is flaxen or strawberry blond to medium or reddish brown. Eyes will be blue, aqua or golden brown. Your skin has a warm yellow undertone and hues with yellow undertones look best on you. Medium to light colors are better than dark shades. 

Summer: (cool) You have rosy delicate coloring with a blue undertone. You may get a sunburn easily. Your hair is ash blond, which often darkens with age. Blue eyes are most common but some have green, grey, hazel or brown eyes. You should wear dusty or muted shades with blue or rose undertones. Cool soft colors are the best.

Autumn: (warm) You have reddish highlights in hair ranging from blond to dark chestnut brown. Your eyes are usually brown but some are green, hazel or blue-green. Your skin may have freckles and it has a golden undertone. You should wear strong but dusty colors with orange or yellow undertones.

One easy way to tell if you are a cool or a warm is to flip your wrist over and look at your veins.  If they appear blue you are a cool toned person.  If they appear to have a slight green tinge to them, you're a Vulcan warm.
Each time I've shopped with someone, no matter if it was helping them find a piece for an event, or filling in parts of their wardrobe, I've run into the same issue.  Few people know what the difference is between style and fashion.

Simply put, style is an innate part of who you are and doesn't really change.  Fashion, on the other hand is directed by other people and changes with the seasons.  If you're still not sure how to tell the difference, look at any movie star from the 20's on.  If what they are wearing looks great and would still be relevant today with some minor updates, that's style.  If you're giggling at what they're wearing, that's fashion.  Not that fashion is a laughable thing, but trends come and go darling.  Style is forever.

If you're like most people, you probably have a closet that's half full of trends from the last 5-10 years and the other half is stuff you don't like, doesn't fit and you don't wear.  Sometimes it makes for some seriously hideous awesome outfits.  Some though, manage to take what's in their closet and look amazing even if they've already forgotten about what they're wearing that day.  How do they do that?  Their closet is full of things that suit their style, mixed with a few trendy items.  That's how.  If you've ever wanted to reinvent your style but just weren't sure how here are a few easy steps to do so.

We've all had a "what was I thinking" moment, or ten.

The first step is to develop your own style.  If you're unsure about what your style is, you can take a look at magazines to see what the glitterati is wearing currently or even look back over the decades to see what the fashions were through the years.  You may find that some things from other eras are more to your liking.

Look through your closet once you have an idea about what your style is and see what's age appropriate.  If you're in your mid to late 30's and dressing like a teenager, you may have an issue.  Looking youthful isn't about your clothes.  Make sure too that you're dressing for your occupation.  Mom jeans and stained tees do not good office wear make.  Dress for your lifestyle.  If you walk all day, every day, 4" stilettos may not be for you.

Figure out what colors look good on you and what styles fit your body shape best.  Don't wear things that accentuate your worst attributes.  For instance, I don't wear baggy clothes.  I'm petite and they tend to make me look like I'm playing dress up.

If you're not sure what things you should buy and will hold up to multiple washings, or can't tell designer clothing from a blue light special, then what you really need to know are a few simple things.  How are things cut, how are they stitched and what fabrics are they made from?

  • The cut should flatter your best assets and hide the worst ones.  Cheaper clothing sometimes will have  variations in size and even the material cuts may be different.  So if you're picking up trends on the cheap, watch for that.
  • The stitching in the fabric should always be at least 1/8" from the edge and the edge should be finished.  If it's not, assume you'll be fixing a seam along the way, or just don't buy it at all.
  • Cotton polyester blends are great for everyday, they barely wrinkle.  Silk is nice for dressing up, wools for winter warmth and linens for summer to keep you cool.
With what you've learned so far, edit your wardrobe.  Take stock of what you have left after the wardrobe edit.  Check out the wardrobe essentials at the bottom of that post and see if you have or need any of those.  Make a list of the things you need to create your personal style and get ready to shop for it.

Every day, each one of us makes a lot of decisions.  Get out of bed?  Coffee or not?  Buy the shoes?  The list of questions and your decisions can go on to infinity if we let it.  We also make a lot of important decisions that have far reaching implications.  Those aren't done every day, and some are easy because we all have a set of values that define us and we make calm, largely unemotional decisions based on those.  Then, there are the other ones.  The decisions we make that are purely emotional.  The place where logic seems to have no influence and we can't seem to learn from past mistakes or even others and their downfalls.

I've seen a few of these bigger decisions go on around me in the last few months.  The decisions I saw were fueled by things like greed, narcissism, indifference, fear and stupidity.  Very few decisions were based in love, or kindness, or even whats right and wrong by the standards of society.  Some of the decisions I saw drastically lowered the respect I had for some or vanquished it completely, changed the way I live and work and sometimes saddened me greatly.

We've all have to make the decision between what is right, and what is easy.  Sometimes we have to look at a person we love and know it's time to walk away, for our own sake.  We have to know when we are entrusted to care for someone else, what the right thing is and do it, no matter what the cost to yourself.  We need to own our mistakes, and stop waiting for or expecting someone else to fix them.  We all have to know too that the decisions we make have led us to where we are.  If we are unhappy, only we can change it.

Today is election day in the US, and most of us are making a decision about who to vote for.  This isn't a political post, but an introspective one.  How do you deal with other peoples' decisions that affect you adversely, or worse, you know are morally wrong?  Maybe you've had the eye opening moment where you realized that you and you alone were responsible for your happiness and well-being.  What got you there and what did you do to better yourself?

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